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Man jailed for sexually assaulting women in Bristol

Custody image of Craig Pearsall
Craig Pearsall

A man who sexually assaulted five women in public areas in south Bristol has been jailed for his crimes.

Craig Pearsall, from Bristol, also pleaded guilty to a number of other charges, including multiple online sexual offences involving children.

Pearsall, between the start of March and Friday 20 May this year, sexually assaulted four women by touching them. Several of the women were out jogging alone early in the morning when Pearsall attacked them in and around the Kings Head Lane Park area of Bishopsworth.

Plain-clothed police patrols were carried out in the park and officers identified Pearsall from the descriptions his victims gave. He was arrested in the early hours of Sunday 22 May.

Enquiries continued and officers uncovered he was responsible for a fifth sexual assault, as well as several other sexual offences. Officers examined videos on the 28-year-old’s phone and found footage of him recording a woman without her knowledge, including under her dress. We were able to identify her and inform her what had happened so as to bring further charges against him.

In total, Pearsall pleaded guilty to the following offences:

  • Five counts of sexual assault
  • Four counts of engaging in sexual communication with a child
  • And one count each of recording an image under clothing without consent, threatening to disclose private sexual photographs and making an indecent image of a child.

In victim personal statements read in Bristol Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 24 November), the women Pearsall attacked made clear how significant an impact his offending had had on their lives.

They spoke about the anxiety they now feel when alone and the toll it continues to have on their mental health.

Pearsall was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison. He will be added to the registered sex offenders list for life and received a sexual harm prevention order.

Officer in the case PC Gareth Perry said: “The streets of Bristol are safer for women now that Craig Pearsall is behind bars. He is a menace who preyed on lonely women – the youngest was 18 years old – and subjected them to awful sexual assaults, which continue to affect their day-to-day lives. We will continue to provide them with access to any support services they need.

“When Pearsall was taken into custody, enquiries were carried out on his electronic devices and we discovered a number of other sickening offences he was responsible for, which he was charged with last month. It became clear to the officers investigating that Pearsall had recorded his offences for his own sexual gratification.”

PC Perry continued: “I’d like to publicly praise all the victims who reported to the police what happened, because without their bravery it is likely Pearsall would still be out there and posing a risk to women.

“We hope the positive action of courts in sentencing this predator gives all victims of sexual assault confidence that they will be believed and that we will always seek to get them the justice they deserve.”

Victims of rape or sexual assault, recent or non-recent, can self-refer to The Bridge, a Sexual Assault Referral Centre available 24/7 365 days a year. Visit their website at www.thebridgecanhelp.org.uk or call 0117 342 6999.

You can also visit www.thisisnotanexcuse.org for details of charities and organisations who are experts in supporting victims.